I have called for a review of the SUSI grant application process in light of the radically changed financial position of many students and their families as a result of the ongoing public health crisis.
The opening of the SUSI application process is another worrying reminder that the consequences of COVID-19 are likely to be with us for months to come.
It is currently the case that many SUSI applicants qualify for a grant on the basis of their household earning in years previously. While this would normally broadly reflect the financial situation of a family in the subsequent year, COVID-19 has radically changed that position.
More than half a million people were receiving some form of social welfare income support by the end of March and it is highly likely that many households which are experiencing sudden financial hardship will not qualify for the SUSI grant in the coming year.
Fianna Fáil is calling on the Minister for Education to urgently review the process with a view to ensuring the hardship now endured by hundreds of thousands of households is recognised this year. It is likely that many students would already qualify under change of circumstance criteria, however, delays in the processing of grants could be avoided if reforms were implemented in the coming weeks.
Athlone Institute of Technology Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Student Accommodation Athlone Charlie’s Student Bar RollerCoaster.ie Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School Our Lady’s Bower Parents Association Athlone Community College Moate Community School Marist College St Finian’s College Mullingar Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rochfortbridge.